Fr. Pat Neary, C.S.C, continues his posting for us from his missionary work in our seminary in East Africa. Today he shares the moving vocation story of one of our recently ordained priests there.
His background and story caught me by surprise. He is of the Samburu people and experienced missionaries in Kenya will tell you that there are very few Catholic priests or religious from the Sanburu tribe. So how did he end up in Holy Cross?
One bright but cold morning some years ago, Fr. Bob decided to go meet Chris' family. As he looked in through the front window of their modest dwelling, he saw four little children huddled close in one bed, shivering under a thin blanket, Chris among them. Immediately he set out to town to buy blankets for the children. And from that time on, he grew close to the family.
I later told Fr. Bob that of all the great things he had surely done in his years as a priest, inspiring Chris to become a priest had to be among the greatest. He smiled with tears in his eyes nodded his head in agreement. I thanked him on behalf of Holy Cross. Now it will be Fr. Chris' turn to inspire others. I would like to think that among a couple of the young Samburu men who witnessed that Mass, the seed of a vocation was planted. If so, I would happily make the 13-hour trip again in a few years.